Dr. Aaron Schurger
When creating psychological research surveys, demographics are typically recorded at the end of the main survey. The reasoning behind psychologists placing demographic questions at the end can be to omit any biases from the participants (Hughes et al., 2016). However, does the placement of these types of questions influence people without them knowing? This research project will answer these questions to find the effects of demographic question placement on participants. Specifically, can demographic question placement prime individuals and their self-rating of attractiveness and the overall impact of demographic placement on survey results? To test this question, this project will conduct two versions of the study to compare self-ratings of overall attractiveness. In version one, individuals will first answer demographic questions, rate the attractiveness of celebrities, and then rate their own attractiveness. In version two, participants will first rate the attractiveness of celebrities, rate their attractiveness, and then answer demographic questions. All ratings will be on a scale of 1-10. After gathering the data, we will compare the overall attractiveness ratings between the two groups to see if there is a meaningful difference. So far, a preliminary study has been done on 120 individuals, mainly Chapman students. Participants primed with their demographics at the beginning rated their attractiveness lower than participants who answered them at the end. In the future, we plan on conducting this study on Prolific to see if this finding applies to the general population. Overall, this research will further our understanding of the impacts of demographic question placement. This is important since many testing formats currently place demographic questions at the beginning. Thus, this research will influence not only how psychologists conduct research, but also how proctors execute standardized testing in classroom settings.
Rakshani, Leyla; Brillhart, Melissa; Yu, Stephanie; and Schurger, Aaron, "How Demographics Influence Self-Image" (2023). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 587.